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SpaceX did it! 
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Heinlein Nexus
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
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Location: Pacific NorthWest
Post SpaceX did it!
Go immediately to SpaceX.com and see the entire video of the landing of the first stage. Stuck the landing on an ocean swell. Autonomous landing and remotely guided ship. I feel like I just got teleported into a Heinlein novel. The future has arrived ahead of schedule thanks to SpaceX. Thank you, folks.


Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:39 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:33 pm
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Location: Evanston, IL
Post Re: SpaceX did it!
It's a remarkable achievement. The sea was calm, which must have helped.

Landing on a vessel brings to mind the Navy's experiments with the Pogo and the Salmon back in the early 1950's. Those were both tail-landing turboprop fighters. I don't think the Navy ever tried to land the Salmon, but I know the Pogo did land on its tail several times, but on solid ground.

I wish SpaceX could land on solid earth: much easier task.

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Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:50 pm
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Heinlein Nexus
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Post Re: SpaceX did it!
Flight 20 landed on solid ground in December. Most flight profiles only allow for recovery at sea though. While the ocean was relatively calm, it was visibly moving, which poses challenge enough when landing a pencil.

The DC-X was on target to perform similar tricks before it was canceled in the nineties, although it wasn't multistage.


Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:44 am
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Post Re: SpaceX did it!
Maybe in future versions, SpaceX could enlarge the fuel and oxidizer tanks a bit so the first stage could (sort of) fly back to the East Coast and land on solid ground. Or maybe not.

I'd forgotten about the DC-X. While it did stick some landings on ground, I wonder how it would have coped with landings at sea.

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Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:54 pm
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Heinlein Nexus
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
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Post Re: SpaceX did it!
Well now it's a matter of comparing the costs of the extra fuel with the cost of driving the barge back. Wouldn't care to predict how that comes out. But I rather imagine SpaceX has.


Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:53 pm
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